Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Medical Emergency Preparedness

There is lots of individual preparation to get ready for an Ultimate Tournament. I was not prepared for what happened this weekend. The purpose of this post is for all players, clubs and Tournament Directors to be better prepared if a similar emergency happens at your Ultimate game/tournament.

 [And, knowing is half the battle.]

BRIEF RECAP: On Saturday, August 3, an Ultimate player suffered a heart attack while playing during a Washington Area Flying disc Club Ultimate Tournament in Reston, Virginia. Ultimate players were alerted of the emergency situation and administered CPR before EMS arrived. The player survived! The consensus of those present on Saturday was that the immediate efforts by Ultimate players contributed to the man's survival.

As of 8/5, the player is in critical care at a DC hospital and will go in for triple bypass surgery once deemed safe to operate. As of 8/10, the player successfully had quadruple bypass surgery and recovering well.

1. Recognize the seriousness of injury. When minutes, and even seconds, are crucial in a health emergency, do not hesitate to take action. You. YES, you!
2. Locate a phone. Find the closest cell phone - it does not need to be yours - and immediately dial 911.
3. Be prepared to provide specific information for the 911 call.
The call-taker's questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly. When you call 911, be prepared to answer the call-taker's questions, which may include:
• The nature of the emergency (e.g. medical)
• The location of the emergency, including the street address
• The phone number you are calling from
• Details about the emergency, such as a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency.
4. Find someone who can administer CPR. Spread out and call attention to yourself (e.g. yelling, shouting, waving arms). Stopping other games for emergencies is absolutely acceptable.
5. Ensure EMS vehicles can find their way to your location. If fields are not located right at the provided address, then consider driving to the entrance and leading EMS to the injury. Also, move any parked vehicles to provide easy access for the EMS vehicles to drive close/onto the field (i.e. unlock gates, move any parked vehicles blocking access to the fields).
6. Keep on-field pathway clear for EMS vehicles. Players should remain on the sideline and out of the way from the path of EMS vehicles. Remove any equipment that may obstruct, too.
7. Contacting the injured player's 'Emergency Contact.' The team captain, teammates &/or TD should have this information. Contact the listed person to inform them of the emergency situation and any further details EMS can provide (e.g. status, hospital location).
8. Provide support. Players and those in attendance may react in different ways. Some may want to talk about it; some may not. Some may not want to continue playing; some may want to. Overall, be respectful for how people react to an emergency event.

• Learn CPR &/or ensure someone onsite knows and can administer CPR 
• Provide the street address of the fields & game location specifics to all players so even an out-of-towner can provide the details
• Have access to the 'emergency contact' for all players
• Develop & distribute an emergency plan to all players & team captains

1 comment:

jelly andrews said...

Thanks a lot for sharing these tips. And I guess the most important thing when an emergency situation happens is that don’t panic. One could think clearly if he/she is calm.